Michel Piccoli, French film legend, dies aged 94
French acting legend Michel Piccoli, whose screen career spanned around seven decades, has died aged 94.
The news was confirmed by his family to AFP, revealing he passed away “in the arms of his wife Ludivine and his children Inord and Missia after a stroke”.
Piccoli was well-known for working with notable directors such as Luis Bunuel, Jean-Luc Godard and Louis Malle, as well as his versatility in characters.
Real name Jacques Daniel Michel Piccoli, the actor began his career in the 1940s before going on to work with Bunuel in a number of films, including Death in the Garden, Diary of a Chambermaid, Belle de Jour and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.
He famously appeared as a scriptwriter adapting The Odyssey in Godard’s 1963 film Contempt opposite Brigitte Bardot. In recent years he starred in the likes of 2011 comedy-drama We Have a Pope as the titular Pope and 2012 fantasy Holy Motors, while his final film credit was 2014’s Le goût des myrtilles.
Piccoli won numerous awards over his long career, including Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980 for A Leap in the Dark. He also won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 1982 Berlin Internation Film Festival for Strange Affair.
However, despite a number of nominations over the years, Piccoli never won a Cesar award – considered the French equivalent of the Oscars.
Piccoli was married three times — first to Eléonore Hirt, with whom he had daughter Anne-Cordelia, and then singer Juliette Gréco until 1977. He most recently married Ludivine Clerc in 1980, who survives him.